Explore the Arts Virtually in North Carolina

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, museums, local arts councils, galleries, and performing arts venues across North Carolina are closed to the public right now. However, many arts and cultural organizations have created virtual arts experiences so North Carolinians can engage with music, dance, the visual arts, and more.

Here we’ve compiled a variety of ways to experience the arts and learn during these difficult times. So, gather your family (or enjoy some time alone) and explore arts and culture in this state.

We will update this list daily, so check back often!

Ackland Art Museum

Looking for virtual programs like the Ackland’s Art for Lunch webinar series? Need some hands-on activities like our new coloring book or our activity packet for kids of all ages? Want to impress your colleagues and friends with downloadable Zoom backgrounds from our collection? Are you a parent or teacher looking for online resources? Or maybe you’d like to explore our collection; we have 3D digital models, About the Art guides, and a collection database of over 19,000 objects. All of these resources are linked to our Ackland at Home page. And if you didn’t get a chance to see our exhibition “Yayoi Kusama: Open the Shape Called Love,” you can take a look here. Since our exhibition “In Vulnerability: Selected Works by the MFA Class of 2020” has been canceled, we have posted artist interviews and other digital content for your enjoyment. Check back often, since we’ll be adding more content regularly!

Support the Ackland here.
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On this website you can engage with Artspace’s current exhibitions and activities.

Join the Director of Artistic Programs, Annah Lee, on a tour of the exhibition Domestic Demise, which features the work of photographer Patty Carroll and sculptor Elizabeth Alexander. Domestic Demise dissects the complexities of feminine domesticity through images of humor, excess, and decay. Closed-captioning is available on this video.

Looking for a hands-on activity? Check out Artspace’s Look & Learn activities:

•  Color your own version of photographer Patty Carroll’s image Smothered, which is featured in Domestic Demise in this Look & Learn.
•  Create your own hand-drawn floral arrangements in this Look & Learn, inspired by Artspace Studio Artist Maria Frati's colorful painted wood carvings of florals and foliage.
•  Create a portrait of a friend or family member in this Look + Learn activity, inspired by cut-paper portraits made by Janelle Washington.

Support Artspace here.
Follow on Instagram @artspacenc​

Asheville Art Museum

Experience the Asheville Art Museum’s collection at home with virtual tours, children’s activities, and more. The museum will continue to develop virtual content for the Museum From Home resource page.

Support the museum here.
Follow on Instagram @ashevilleartmuseum

Cameron Art Museum

Visit this Wilmington, N.C. museum virtually through “Connect with CAM,” a new series of videos and posts on social media. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 – 11 a.m., the museum will host a Facebook live session of Art Explorers, an hour of storytelling and art-making for toddlers to kindergartners.

Support the museum here.
Follow on Instagram @camartmuseum

Cape Fear Regional Theatre

From tap dancing and playwriting to voice lessons, the Cape Fear Regional Theatre is offering a great series of virtual programs from 3 – 4 p.m. every weekday. Tune in to their Virtual Edutainment Classes here: https://zoom.us/j/747277173

Support CFRT here.
Follow on Instagram @cfrtnc

Carolina Ballet

The Carolina Ballet in Raleigh has postponed the remaining programs for its season, but the company is releasing past performances online to watch. Check out a portion of In The Gray, from April 2018.

Support the ballet here.
Follow on Instagram @carolinaballet

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte will stream their musical production of The Invisible Boy on Saturday, April 18 starting at 3:30 p.m. with a chance to meet author Trudy Ludwig and illustrator Patrice Baron. The show starts at 4 p.m. and is followed by a post-show discussion with the adaptors and some of the actors. Join the Watch Party via YouTube Live or Facebook Live. All of the details live here: https://bit.ly/2wpBZg9. (Click the button on the day of Watch Party and join the fun.)  

Support the theatre here.
Follow on Instagram @Ctcharlottenc


Cucalorus is a non-competitive independent film festival in Downtown Wilmington, NC that supports innovative artists and encouraging creative exchange.

Support the festival here.
Follow Cucalorous on Facebook.
Follow on Instagram @cucalorus

Flat Rock Playhouse

In 1937, a group of struggling performers, led by Robroy Farquhar, organized themselves as the Vagabond Players. The Vagabonds worked in a variety of places over the course of three years, and in 1940 found themselves in the Blue Ridge region of Western North Carolina. The local and tourist community welcomed them with open arms when they presented their first summer season of plays in a 150-year-old grist mill they converted into The Old Mill Playhouse at Highland Lake.

From October 24-25, The Breath Project will hold their inaugural virtual festival. In partnership with Flat Rock Playhouse and 23 other theater companies across the country, the free festival will feature 24 world premiere works created by multidisciplinary theater artists of color that are all 8 minutes and 46 seconds in length. We hope you'll be able to attend this groundbreaking festival, but if you already have plans this weekend, you can view the archive of performances at any time on The Breath Project's website.

On November 12 at 3pm, Our next Backstage Pass will be hosted by Artistic Associate Matthew Glover. Matthew will be discussing Creating The Magic here at the Playhouse. From concept to curtain, he will take you through the creative process of producing a show on the Mainstage. Email Flat Rock Playhouse to RSVP.

Support the Flat Rock Playhouse here.

Goodly Frame Theatre 

Guided by the original practices and direct address techniques practiced at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, Goodly Frame Theatre consistently models innovative staging choices that open minds and challenge typical conceptions about the relationships between texts, actors, and audiences. By rediscovering and redefining the boundaries of performing Shakespeare, we reconnect with all forms of theatre, classical and contemporary, and encourage sustainable dialogues among the voices of Greensboro, the region, and across “this goodly frame," the earth.

Support Goodly Frame Theatre here.
Follow Goodly Frame Theatre on Facebook.
Follow Goodly Frame Theatre on Twitter.


GreenHill Center for North Carolina Art

Virtual GreenHill, a weekly newsletter highlighting North Carolina artist, family art-making projects and so much more. #Virtual GreenHill also features Curator’s Picks, Greenhill Connections, and Masterpiece Fridays. To sign-up for the weekly emails contact  Greenhill@greenhillnc.org.

Support GreenHill here.
Follow on Instagram @greenhillnc

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African- American Arts + Culture (formerly the Afro- American Cultural Center) celebrates the contributions of Africans and African- Americans to American culture and serves as a community epicenter for music, dance, theater, visual art, film, arts education programs, literature and community outreach.

The center is hosting virtual conversations and artist talks, such as

Unmasked: Know Your Vote
October 13 | 7pm
This third installment of the Unmasked voting series will detail the significance of the roles open for election this November. We will supplement descriptions of these roles with political procedures that followed well known social justice issues for an inclusive understanding of our responsibility in selecting the best candidates for our community's advancement.

Open Air with Artist Stacy Lynn Waddell
October 20 | 7pm

For this episode of Open Air, join us for a candid conversation with former Gantt exhibiting artist Stacy Lynn Waddell. Stacy Lynn Waddell creates works that structure sites of intersection between both real and imagined aspects of history and culture. With a variety of transformative processes that include heat/laser technology, accumulation, embossing/debossing, interference and gilding, these points of intersection pose important questions related to authorship, beauty, and the persuasive power of nationalistic ideology. The artist splits her time between North Carolina and New York.

Support Harvey B. Gantt Center here.
Follow Harvey B. Gantt Center on Facebook.
Follow on Instagram @hbganttcenter


JazzArts Charlotte

JazzArts Charlotte’s mission is to connect the cultural community and develop an audience for jazz through quality education, performance and musician support. The organization provides access for and to world class musicians, ensuring that jazz has a home here in Charlotte.

JazzArts Charlotte is presenting free virtual conversations and performances on their YouTube and Facebook channels. 

Please see their Upcoming Events page for more details.

  • Live from Crown with pianist Luther S. Allison
    Thursday, October 29 | 8-9pm ET

    Jazz favorites from Charlotte-native multi-instrumentalist Luther S. Allison.  Currently tearing up the NY jazz scene, Luther started his jazz training right here at JazzArts Charlotte.
  • Conversation with Grammy winning trumpeter Maurice Brown
    Tuesday, November 3 | 8-9pm ET

    Trumpet sensation Maurice “Mobetta” Brown’s music is a perfect blend of bebop and hip hop, old and new.  
  • Keep Jazz A-Live-Streaming:  Live from Crown presents Dwayne Jordan with Shrimp & Grits
    Thursday November 12, 8:00pm EST
    FREE on Facebook Live

    JazzArts Charlotte’s virtual live music series is excited to present Dwayne Jordan is a Drummer, arranger and composer from charlotte North Carolina. Musical Influences are Jazz, Rock, Gospel, Hip-Hop, Rhythm and Blues.  Tune in to Keep Jazz A-Live-Streaming to hear local jazz musicians live, straight to your living room via Facebook Live.  Our interactive performances are the perfect way for you to enjoy the music, until we are able to meet again in person. Performances come to you directly from Crown Station.  

Support JazzArts Charlotte here.
Follow JazzArts Charlotte on Facebook.
Follow JazzArts Charlotte on YouTube.
Follow on Instagram @thejazzarts


McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Creative Shifts are happening on Wednesdays!

This week, dig into video, performance, and digital media that demands conversation with McColl Center alumni artists Maya Gurantz and Marcus Kiser and Detroit-native artist John Sims. Jonell Logan moderates the discussion on art that confronts societal and historical practices around gender, race, and identity.

Support the museum here.
Follow on Instagram @mccollcenter

Mint Museum at Home

While The Mint Museum is temporarily closed, they will continue to bring the museum experience to the Charlotte Community and beyond. Explore the collections, staff picks, and craft demonstrations, all from the comfort of your own home. Sign-up for weekly newsletters for virtual tours, Q&A's and more!

Support the museum here.
Follow on Instagram @themintmuseum

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Although visitors are not allowed to explore the current exhibition Ebony G. Patterson… while the dew is still on the roses…, you can enjoy a discussion of Patterson’s work over the past decade in this podcast interview with Patterson and art historian Shaina Larrivee.

Nasher exhibit ‘RESIST COVID | TAKE 6’ to launch across campus: The Nasher Museum is collaborating with Duke Arts and Duke Health to present an unprecedented outdoor exhibition and public awareness campaign by nationally renowned artist Carrie Mae Weems. The project, called RESIST COVID / TAKE 6!, emphasizes the disproportionate impact of the deadly virus on the lives of communities of color, through large-scale banners and window clings, posters, street signs and more.

Support the museum here.
Follow on Instagram @nashermuseum​

North Carolina Museum of Art

NCMA offers tips for getting creative at home — all inspired by the Museum’s collection — in this blog post, Find Inspiration Around You.

Support the museum here.
Follow on Instagram @ncartmuseum

North Carolina Opera

Enjoy a musical moment with the North Carolina Opera. NCO is digging into its archive to share video snippets from previous performances. First up is Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, featuring the North Carolina Opera Orchestra, conducted by Timothy Myers.

Support the opera here.
Follow on Instagram @northcarolinaopera

RiverRun International Film Festival

RiverRun’s Virtual Theater is now live as we monitor guidelines for when it will be safe to host screenings in real life once again. For now, please enjoy the titles from RiverRun 2020 below, available to watch from the comfort and safety of your own home! Prices vary as each distributor’s digital release plan is unique. Click below for more info, and please disregard the show times as they are just there for display purposes. These films are available around the clock!

Support RiverRun here
Follow on Instagram @riverrunfilm

RDU Onstage

In an effort to spotlight the artists and theater makers whose shows had to close or were canceled because of the pandemic, RDU Onstage started a virtual artist talkback

Follow on Instagram @rduonstage​

Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art

SECCA At Home” comes to your inbox with a curated selection of art activities, features on North Carolina artists, and links to free virtual tours offered by museums around the world. Sign up for the newsletter here. You can catch up with past content here.

Support SECCA here.
Follow on Instagram @seccacontempart

The ArtsCenter

The ArtsCenter is offering online art classes for adults and children as well as free resources for parents. Explore our current exhibition in our virtual gallery.

Support The ArtsCenter here.
Follow on Instagram @artscenterlive

Triad Stage

Triad Stage’s Learning Director Dani Keil and her dog, Scout, are reading classic fairy tales and modern picture books to engage curious young minds. Following each story, there will be a simple art activity. (Recommended for PreK to second grade.)

Support the theatre here.
Follow on Instagram @triadstage

Tryon International Film Festival

Follow the festival on Facebook.
Follow on Instagram @tryoninternationalfilmfest

Women’s Theatre Festival

The Women’s Theatre Festival is hosting a Virtual Playreading Book Club that features a livestream reading of a play by actors, followed by a discussion with the playwright. Ongoing.

More information here.
Follow on Instagram @wtfestivalnc


Lesson Plans and Arts Education Resources for Students and Families

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Arts Education Section

North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction provides a collection of resources for arts educators and students. Resources are appropriate for different instructional levels and ages. Resources may be sorted by discipline, content, grade, or resource name. This information is updated regularly.

State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE)

This national agency offers a collection of “Arts Instructional Resources” contributed by its members, who represent every state. SEADAE collected the information its members sent and consolidated it in one easy site for constituents to share with people inquiring about arts education during this time.  

North Carolina Museum of Art

The museum’s learning portal offers tips, activities, and full lesson plans organized by grade, subject, concepts, and key words. Additionally, 10 integrated lesson plans created with the A+ Schools of North Carolina and NCMA are available here.

Resources for Distance Fine Arts Education

This is a comprehensive guide for online instruction for visual arts, dance, and music teachers from New York State.

Teaching Artists Guild

Teaching Artists Guild has compiled a list of resources for teaching artists. Artists can submit additional resources they find to share with the larger community.

Virtual Schools

This website is a broad-based educational resource featuring virtual tours, live webcams, and other arts education experiences from around the world. It is updated several times a week.


Local Arts Councils Engagement Across NC

Arts and Science Council of Mecklenburg County

A list of virtual experiences has been compiled and is updated daily.

Support the arts council here.
Follow on Instagram @asccharlotte

Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County

Virtually Artistic is a collection of virtual art experiences including performances by the Piedmont Opera to a Musician Moment with the Winston-Salem Symphony, a variety of virtual opportunities with Bookmarks and a staged reading of Blooming in Dry Season by Eljon Wardally by NC Black Rep Co.

Support the arts council here.
Follow on Facebook @artscouncilwsfc

Asheville Arts Council

It offers a comprehensive list of ways to explore creative distancing in Asheville.

Support the arts council here.
Follow on Instagram @avlartscouncil

Craven Arts Council & Gallery

Although the galleries are closed you can visit the Virtual Gallery for a tour of the Main Gallery and the Director’s Gallery.
Support the arts council here

Arts Council of Henderson County

Participate in a live Facebook Auction on Sundays to support artists in Henderson County and a virtual open mic night via Facebook Live on Fridays.

Support the arts council here.
Follow on Facebook @acofhc​

McDowell County Arts Council

Getting Crafty at Home provides free craft kits for families in McDowell County. Also, the web page has resources for art projects for high schoolers and adults.

Support the arts council here.
Follow on Instagram @mcdowellarts​

Toe River Arts Council

The 14th Annual Blacksmith Exhibition featuring the work of blacksmith from the Southeast and beyond is now a virtual exhibition and pieces are available in the online store.

Support the arts council here.
Follow on Instagram @toeriverarts

Arts Engagement Beyond North Carolina

The Kennedy Center

Mo Willems invites you into his studio every day for his “LUNCH DOODLES.” In this online video series, learners can draw, doodle, and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. Videos will be released on weekdays at 1 p.m.